On 6 July 2017, Minister of State for Security Policy and International Cooperation Dr. István Mikola from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Mr. Elhadj As Sy officially inaugurated the offices in Budapest that will serve as the new headquarters for the IFRC’s European Regional Office and Global Service Centre.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is one of the most prominent humanitarian organisations in the world, providing assistance without discrimination to vulnerable people affected by conflicts and natural disasters with the participation of around 17 million active volunteers.

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The IFRC has maintained a regional representation in Budapest since 1993. In 2007, the Federation established the European Zone Office for the coordination of humanitarian activities and related projects throughout 54 countries in the region. In 2016, in line with its re-organisation program, the IFRC decided to relocate its IT section to Budapest and to also set up its Global Service Centre in the Hungarian capital in agreement with the Hungarian Government.

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At the opening ceremony of the new IFRC offices in Budapest, Minister of State for Security Policy and International Cooperation István Mikola emphasised: “We consider the strengthened IFRC presence in Hungary an outstanding moment that further deepens the fruitful cooperation traditionally maintained with the International Federation and its Budapest-based representations during the past 24 years”, the Minister of State declared.

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“We hope that by hosting the IFRC Regional Office and Global Service Centre, Hungary will actively contribute to improving the efficiency of the unrivalled humanitarian activities of the Federation. The increased presence of the international organisation in Hungary is fully in line with the intentions of the Hungarian Government, aimed at promoting Hungary to a service hub within the Central European region”, Mr. Mikola said.

“Our new IFRC offices in Budapest – our regional office for Europe, as well as a global service centre – will contribute to enabling us to provide assistance throughout the world more successfully and efficiently. The task of the Red Cross and Red Crescent is to reach as many places as possible where large numbers of people find themselves in extremely vulnerable situations, including all those who are forced to flee their homes”, Secretary General of the IFRC Elhadj As Sy said.

“In doing so, we recognise that most solutions may be provided locally, and accordingly we are calling for partnerships at both national and global level in the interests of committed humanitarian action. We appreciate the cooperation and support of the Hungarian Government, thanks to which we may now be greeted in our new home”, he announced.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)